The number of U.S. consumers who filed for bankruptcy in 2010 topped 1.5 million last year, up 9% compared with 2009 as high long-term jobless rates and depressed home prices drove more households to seek court protection, according to both the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

Personal bankruptcies rose to 1.53 million. The number of filings has increased each year since 2005, when bankruptcy laws were revamped. Last year's number far exceeds the 1,407,788 total consumer filings recorded in 2009, a trend that the ABI attributes to growing debt and a weakened economy. ABI is an association of attorneys and other bankruptcy professionals.

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